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Tournament checklist explained
You will not need all of the items for your tournament. Here is a short explanation of how each item could help you. Keep in mind that many tournaments last all day and you may have little to no notice before your bracket is called. There is a one page PDF of this list made as a check off list, print it and use it.
Nutrition- It is important for your body to be ready for the stresses of competition. Don’t try a new type of food or drink the day of your tournament. Try different things out during training, and see what works best for you. Do not count on the food and soda you can buy at the tournament to be what your body needs to perform. Stick with what you know.
Water and Sports Drinks– This one is obvious, you need to be hydrated. Water is a must, you should be sipping it all day. If you have a sports drink you like be sure to bring it.
Complex Carbohydrates- Complex Carbohydrates digest slower and give you a great source of long lasting energy. Nibbling on a few throughout the day is a good idea, but don’t pig out. Some examples of complex carbohydrates are: Bananas, nuts, oats, and wholegrain cereals.
Simple Carbohydrates– Simple Carbohydrates break down quickly and can give you a temporary boost in energy. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are: Sugar, sports drinks, candy, honey, fruit drinks, jelly, sports gels, and my personal favorite chocolate.
Protein– Protein is a important source of long-lasting energy. Some examples of protein for a tournament are: Nuts and seeds, peanut butter, small amounts of lean meat.
Supplements– If you want to take supplements stick with what your body likes. This is not a good day to experiment with supplements. You will not have the benefit of knowing exactly when you will be on the mat. If you take a supplement and plan to be on the mat in 20 min you will likely be waiting an hour or more.
Meal– You should avoid eating meals before you compete, just snack a lot. It would be nice to have a meal for after you have done your work on the mat. It should help you calm down. The stuff you choose to take along will likely be more tasty than most of the food from the venders.
Cooler with ice– Who does not enjoy a nice cold drink? and it is easier to just throw your food and drinks in a cooler. If you have more than you need share with your teammates and they will not need to dig through your gym bag to find what they want. If you have food you want to store in your cooler put it in a ziploc bag. The ice can also be used in a ziploc bag if someone gets hurt and needs a ice pack.
Equipment- You know what equipment you will need to bring.
Gi– Dont forget your Gi. Make sure in advance that your Gi fits the requirements for the tournament.
Belt– Sure you could barrow a teammates Gi if you need to. But you want to wear your belt to battle. Win or loose your belt is what should be around your waist.
Shorts– If you have a pair of shorts that are lucky bring thoes.
Rashguard– Many grapplers prefer rashguards over tshirts.
Shirt– If your team is planning on all wearing the same shirt dont forget to bring it.
Jockstrap and cup– Gentelmen it will not make you invincable but it will help.
Mouthguard– It seems like if I am not wearing mine I get hit in the mouth.
Backup Gi– If you have an extra Gi and have room for it, bring it along. Your Gi might get ripped or a teammate may forget theirs and yours might fit.
Backup Shorts– Good to have an extra pair incase you have a wardrobe malfunction.
Headgear– If you like to protect your ears bring your headgear.
Wrestling shoes– If they are part of your game and you can wear them go for it.
Sports bra– This one is more for the ladies.
Hair band– This one is also mostly for the ladies, and the guys with the pretty hair.
Bike shorts– Many people like to wear something under their gi or shorts to prevent the people watching your match from getting a free show at your expense.
Comfort- Plan on being at the tournament all day. These things can make your day a little more comfortable. If you bring any guests to the tournament you should do what you can to make them comfortable
Pillow– It may sound odd but a pillow has a place at a BJJ tournament. Many competitors do not sleep well the night before the tournament. They then get to the tournament first thing in the morning, to find out their bracket will not hit the mats until later in the evening. Taking a little nap is a great way to pass the time and calm down. You may also get tired of sitting on hard bleachers all day and a pillow will give you a little extra padding.
Blanket– If you are planning to take a nap bring a small blanket. This can also be used to make the bleachers more comfortable.
Hoodie– Especially for nogi, throw on a hoodie on after warming up to keep you from cooling down. If the building is cold, you would be glad you brought your hoodie.
Book/Mag– This is more for any guests that you bring with you. Make sure they have something to keep them busy. You will be off watching other matches and they will be sitting in the bleachers wondering how many more hours until it is your turn.
Flip flops– Flip flops or any quick shoe will help you get on and off the mat without slowing you down. Do not get on the mat with your shoes.
Music– You may have some songs you want to listen to before or after your time on the mat. Tell any guests that are there for you to bring something to listen to.
Towel– It is nice be able to take a shower after you are done. Don’t for get to bring a towel. A towel can also be used as a blanket or add padding to uncomfortable seats.
Folding chair– At some tournaments finding a place to sit is just as hard as getting a metal. Stay ahead of the sitting competition by bring your own folding chiar. Some tournaments will not have room for your folding chair, you might try to find out the situation before you get there.
Medical- Hopefully you will not need these items, but if do you need them you will be glad you have them. Be ready to share your medical supplies with any teammates or competitors that get hurt. If you injure someone in competition you should apologize and offer any help you can give them. Help can be anything from giving them an icepack or helping them carry their things to their vehicle. You may or may not be a great competitor, but be a great person on and off the mat.
Athletic Tape– I always have tape in my gym bag. It is a quick fix on a busted finger or toe, and it can be used to make a larger bandage.
Ibuprofen– Bring along you preferred painkiller.
Bandaids– Keep your open injuries clean and help prevent getting blood on people. It is also a good idea to bring some 4×4 gauze pads too.
Glasses/contacts– If you wear contacts be ready for any troubles they may give you.
Anitseptic gel– Put a little Neosporin on any cuts or abrasions before you bandage them up.
Hand Sanitizer– Washing your hands if better but not always practical.
Prescription Med– You know what you need, just don’t leave it at home.
Icepack– Keep a couple of icepacks handy or just have a few Ziploc bags and use the ice in your cooler.
Cutting Weight– Cutting weight is not for everyone, but if you are going to do it don’t forget the things you need.
Meals– You might go out to eat or bring something from home but you will be hungry after you make your weight.
Sweats– Sweats or any other clothing you need to drop the pounds.
Hydration Fluids– As soon as you make weight start getting fluids back in you system.
Weigh-in shorts– If it is going to be close don’t forget something lightweight to wear.
Camera– Win or loose it is a good idea to have someone record your matches. Don’t forget to get a team picture before people start leaving.
Tripod– It is hard to hold a video camera and cheer someone on at the same time. Usually the video suffers, more than the cheering. If you happen to be at the tournament by yourself set up your camera and hit record just before the match starts.
Cell phone– Make sure you have all your teammates numbers in your phone and keep it on you until you are getting ready to hit the mat. You do not want to miss you buddies match because you went to the restroom. Set up a group txt and keep each other informed. Your friends and family that are not at the tournament will also be trying to get in contact with you to see how you did.
Team Clothing– Some teams like to wear the same stuff to help build team sprit.
Cash– You may want to get some gear, clothing, or food. There may be some great deals at some of the venders.
Credit Card– Some of the venders may be able to take credit cards.
Wallet– Just a good idea to have this with you.
Rule Book– You should know the rules, but you might need to look up what is legal for a teammate of a different skill level.